Winter is a challenging season, both physically as well as mentally. Feelings of depression, sadness and impending doom experienced by many during this season are collectively known as Winter Depression – a type of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Colder nights, shorter days and scarcity of day light cause major shifts in the circadian rhythms of our body and mind. These changes are considered as major reasons for triggering SAD disorders. Experts say that winter depression affects almost 20% individuals all over the world. It is more common in women than in men.
Sattva- the positive energy represents knowledge and purity. Rajas which is the impulsive energy, represents action and passion; while Tamas– the negative energy represents inertia and ignorance. Sattva is considered as a guna i.e. virtue, while Rajas and Tamas are called Dosha-as their imbalance leads to diseases. Imbalance of Rajas and Tamas with respect toSattva is the main cause for most psychological and psyho-somatic disorders (e.g. Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
Seasonal changes in our environment are one of the factors which affect the relative levels of these Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, giving rise to various imbalance e.g. SAD. Dominance of darkness during winters causes a surge in Tamas, which creates negativity, low self- esteem, lack of motivation, sadness, delusion, depression and even suicidal tendencies. Sattva which is the positive energy of mind recedes naturally in this situation, unless we make deliberate efforts to augment it through practice of Yoga, meditation, pranayama and including Sattvaenhancing i.e. Sattvic foods.
Depending on the body type or Prakriti of a person, symptoms of winter depression may be expressed differently.
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